Dornath

JtB Private Journal Entry #6

So now they know. After we defeated Rivenroar and I saw Eadric studying those books, I just couldn’t help myself. I knew I had to say something, to warn him of what I had seen, where it could lead so dark. Long I’ve tried to forget that fateful day, only to have it return again and again with full force. The devastation, the horror… The mages of The Guild, they thought they were doing the right thing. They went into it with the best of intentions, but then they changed. Oh my gods they changed before my eyes, twisted by the power they channeled. I know they were to blame! Now they’ve gone to ground, and The Guild is hiding them so deep in the muck. But I will find them, oh yes, and I will make them pay. I could see Eadric didn’t believe me, but he just needs to look at the facts. General Xavier, Leader in the Army and by all accounts a Regular Good Guy, just happens to have a Key of Evil hidden in his favorite sword. Then Lord Rivenroar, a Model Citizen and Pillar of the Community, turns out to be a acolyte of Vecna. Do I have to draw Eadric a friggin map? He trusts the Army, he trusts the Government. He’s got to realize that everyone is suspect until proven otherwise no no no trust never again. I need to convince him, before it’s too late. In any case, Rivenroar refused to give me any info about the Guild, so any secrets he had he took back with him to the grave cold enveloping. Now the only lead I have is the Key of Evil and the Cave of Fenris. That name again, it screams in my head, it can’t be a coincidence… But I have no chance on my own so alone, my only hope salvation is with this party – no matter what happens from now on I’m sticking with them.

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JtB Private Journal Entry #5

I must be quick. The encounters all run together – rivers of enemies, like stalks of wheat to be reaped by my blade. We have found more captives and now they are freed I long to be free this hideous burden. One thing stands out in my mind, as the former owner of the Serpent’s Fang fell beneath its bite. Now the blade is mine, by rite of blood and strength. Then there were lighter moments – the dwarf with odd humor has christened the entity that takes control during fights “Stabby McStabberson.” A strange name to be sure, but appropriate. Now after all this fighting I can feel my skills increasing. I believe I’ve found a quick slashing attack that can take the enemy unawares – I’m sure “Stabby” will take full advantage. And some of my health strength vitality has returned but never like it was so broken. Onward now, no time to waste – I feel the evil presence of Rivenroar close at hand, we must end it now! One question still lingers – of all the captives, only one was deemed dangerous enough to confine in a magical prison. What power does this so-called “wise woman” hide? We must be cautious when we release her.

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Not all Dwarves can swing axes, but I know one who probably wants to.
So that's what it feels like to get hit...

Wizard’s Log Day 6*

We are a motley crew who has come to the aid of Brindol. The more of I learn of my compatriots, the more I find myself playing the role of den mother. I wonder exactly when their exuberance will get us killed. Rodrick would not be surprised to learn that I am the cautious one, always hanging back, always expecting the deadly trap or the silent ambush. Each of them has their own reasons for their actions. I have come to the conclusion that John’s tales of his time in the army are just that – fabricated stories created to tug at the heart strings of the general populace. But who can be angry with him for it? His brashness and his desire to take on anything that comes are infectious. And Orrin…how can it be that Orrin has survived this long without his strange chivalric urges getting him killed? If we are ever lured to our demise it will be because some enemy cunningly harnesses an illusion spell of a damsel in distress to make Orrin forget all reason.

And then there is Tor. Tor, despite his superior years, reminds me much of myself at a younger age. I can remember when I first went out on patrol with the army. I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself and my skills. I had found my niche in life as a provisions officer and I could hardly have foreseen what Corellon had in store for me. This seems to be Tor’s first time adventuring outside the protection of his Order’s churches. From our first battles he clearly thought of himself as a Dwarf who was content to hang in the back, slinging divine spells to match my arcane ones. But how could a Dwarf think to deny his own racial heritage? It is clear to us all that he yearns to be on the front lines. It will be interesting to see which way he turns.

We have almost finished our business in the Rivenroar crypts. There are still dangers ahead in the form of the masters of Rivenroar. But given the way we convincingly dismissed their living allies, I expect that we will rise to the challenge of ending the undead menace. From there we will have to turn our attention to learning more about these Wyrmlords.

  • - Note: Wizard’s Log Day 5 was lost to a misplaced flaming sphere spell. Important lessons were learned.
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JtB Private Journal Entry #4

“Now THAT’S a knife.”

I didn’t care much one way or the other but the others decided to take the hostage woman back to safety. It worked out alright, when we got back to the room with the mushrooms we met up with a contingent of the town guards buffoons. They showed us another of the hostages, a wise woman held captive helpless oh gods the pain inside a magic shield. After Orrin made a few lumbering attempts to free her I tossed her a waterskin and we decided to try to find and kill kill kill the source of the magic. So we started clearing out the darn thing from top to bottom, which suited me just fine. Then while we were searching a grackle storeroom I found It. We examined it for a while, tried to figure out how It worked. It was outside my experience – older, and more wild. The mage was scared so scared, apparently he’s had bad luck with rosebush enchanted weapons, and the dwarf’s god forbade him from touching It. So much the better for me. It called to me. When I used It and felt It’s power, It felt like an old friend, rediscovered. Named the serpent’s fang, so shall it strike with the dripping venom of MY VENGANCE large bowl of porridge. So then we took a detour through a room with some lava beasts. They brought the heat flame, but in the end they went down melting like all the rest. We rescued the hostage they guarded and he gave us some key recon info on Sinruth. After Tor messed around with a magic pool we finally got it together and decided to go after Sinruth. What a fight that was, Orrin just pounded on him – toe-to-toe, while Tor kept pumping out the healing. Sinruth was increadibly strong, but Orrin was more than a match for him. So now we come to the letter. The mage was able to translate it from the guttural vernacular, and all was revealed. On the face of it a straightforward case of ambition and greed for The Hand. But under the surface, I sense the slimy putrid Hand of the guild at work. No wonder that their only interest lies in the weapon. No doubt they want to distill its secrets and subvert it for evil. I have to get that sword at all costs – the letter says to avoid showing it to the masters of rivenroar, so that’s exactly what I intend to do, preferably pressed hard against their throat.

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The Tide is Turning
(assuming we don't have to jump anywhere)

What a busy day – We decided to bring our rescued friend back to the town, but on the way out of the crypt we heard voices and saw lights! Eardric wisely used his magical abilities to lure the unknown party forward so that we could spring a trap on them (most likely me, falling out of the pit again) but as they approached we found (thank Pelor) that it was the second rescue party, sent by Effram. John used his climbing kit and a rope to give us a safer way down the pit into the room below, so I was able to avoid yet another fall on my head.

After talking with the militia from the town, they led us to another captive trapped in a strange, magical barrier. Despite Orrin’s brave attempts, we were not yet able to free this woman, but we were able to pass her some liquids. We rested up (all of us were pretty beat up from the last few encounter) and then continued on.

Off the barracks we found a storeroom and a magical dagger for John. How exciting! I’m sure that Pelor wouldn’t approve of me using a poisoned weapon, but I have to admit it sure feels good to see it in John’s capable hands. We also had to fight some tough lava creatures. Despite everyone in the party’s encouragement, I was unable to jump over the lava streams, and fell in. Twice. One bright spot – we did manage to rescue yet another captive who was imprisoned in one of the cells off the room with the lava. The gentleman gave us good directions on where to find Sinruth, so we headed in that direction.

While scouting the area around Sinruth, we did find a fascinating magical pool. Despite Eadric’s warnings, I explored the pool and found that it was actually a scrying device, showing several of the areas among the crypt. I have been finding it harder and harder as we progress through this crypt to remain as cautious as Eadric as we face these new and fascinating magical devices. I suppose his time in the military has shown him the corpses of many a too-rash-for-his-own-good soldier and I should heed his warnings more… but its just so hard to not explore these amazing things I’ve only been able to read about in school and never actually touch.

Finally, we found and wiped out Sinruth and his gang. Orrin truly shined in this battle – landing two of the most mighty blows that I have ever seen on the huge hobgoblin, while the rest of the party attacked from a distance and I (though mighty Pelor) kept healing Orrin as much as I could. Once Orrin fell Sinruth, the rest of his cronies fell quickly to John and Orrin’s blades.

We still have people to rescue and items to recover, so we can’t linger on this success for long, but for the first time since we entered this crypt, I think we actually stand a chance of completing our tasks without one of us ending up dead. Or worse.

-Tor

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Letter to Sinruth

Brave Sinruth,

We of the Hand salute you! Your ability to unite the free peoples for our cause has been admirable, and I trust that you are now ready to undertake this most vital of missions. Our patrons tell us that now is the time to strike.

As I informed you in my last communication, you should first take refuge in the burial complex known as Rivenroar. The unquiet spirits that linger there are sympathetic to our cause. The Rivenroar masters have agreed to do no harm to you or your soldiers, so long as you do not disturb their bodies or the treasures that accompanied them to their graves.

Once you have encamped in the Rivenroar complex, launch your assault on Brindol before the next full moon. Our sleeper agent within the town suggests a three pronged assault: One highly visible frontal assault on the north gates to draw their attention. A second forceful incursion through the eastern gate (which our agent suggests is the least well-guarded), to cause mayhem in the north half of the town. Finally, a quiet intrusion over the south wall, to infiltrate their Hall of “Valor”.

In this building, they have built a shrine to mock our people. It is filled with artifacts celebrating their cowardice and treachery in the great war. Take any spoils that you wish, but your primary target is a sword, made of precious metals, once carried by their chieftain Xavier (a pox be on his name). The retrieval of this sword is your only concern. All other treasures are incidental, all soldiers are expendable. I trust I make myself clear on this matter.

With regard to your previous question, take any captives that you wish, so long as it does not endanger the primary mission. If your captives can be exploited for our cause, so much the better, otherwise the masters of Rivenroar would welcome any gifts of warm flesh.

Once you return to the Rivenroar tombs, maintain secrecy. Make no other raids, no matter how tempting the targets, unless you hear otherwise from me. I will send you further details once I learn of your success. In the meantime, keep the sword safe at all costs, and let none, especially the Rivenroar masters, examine it.

I have put considerable faith in you, Sinruth. If you live up to my expectations, you may yet be counted as a Wyrmlord as I know you hope. If you fail me, I will find your mates and your offspring, and give them up as the first sacrifices.

Yours in the Hand,
Azarr Kul
High Wyrmlord

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A Daring Rescue
(Assuming we don't drop her down a pit)

Tor chimes up -

Why are we looking to bring her to the exit? Unless we are expecting to find our backup (who we probably would have heard stomping around in here by now), she’s still safer with us in the crypt than by herself hanging around in the woods outside the crypt by herself.

While we need some sort of break to let John and Orrin rest up, I’m confident that I can heal that infection you got from the rats if we take a nice rest. (Out Of Character: I have a +10 to heal, so unless this is one crazy poison odds are good I’ll clear it up for ya after a rest, see P 185 on treat disease) A rest wouldn’t do our semi-conscious companion any harm either.

If we bring her all the way back to town, it could take days and I really think there are more people in here that desperately need our help. So far enemies we’ve encountered have realized she’s either a) not a threat or b) valuable as a bargaining chip, so I say we rest up then press on to see if there’s someone else we can rescue.

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Shoot the hostage!
Well it would have solved a lot of our problems...

Wizard’s Log Day 4

It has been too long since I felt the camaraderie that comes with laying your life on the line with others. These past few days have recalled the times when I used to clear out goblin activity with my company. I have been having a strong sense of déjà vu, especially just now when we fought a hobgoblin who wielded arcane magic, much like that fateful day from the past…

But there is no time to dwell on that now. We have managed to rescue one of the townsfolk, though whether we have done so merely for her to die along with us in this crypt is still an open question. We are debating whether to turn back for the known exit, so that we can assure her safety. But what will we do when we get out there? If no back-up has arrived then surely we cannot just release her into the wilds by herself. Had we found another captive or two perhaps they would have a chance as a group. But with this area swarming with goblins it would be irresponsible to just let her go and hope for the best. Still, the alternative is not appealing. If we push further in we are tempting fate that she is not struck by a goblin arrow or an enemy approaching from behind. Such are the trials that mark our path.

On the bright side, and surely Corellon will always provide for one, we are becoming a more formidable group. Each of us has improved in our various skills even within the short time we have been together. Perhaps someday we will even have enough group courage to try some of those goblin onions.

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JtB Private Journal Entry #3

Spiders. I hate spiders.

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JtB Private Journal Entry #2

Where was I? Oh yes… after we finally killed the ogre for a while we just sat in shock. We decided to meet again the next morning, and the dwarf gave me a place to sleep (apparently he didn’t mind the stench). The next day we saw the councilman – the gaurds gave me some trouble over my papers, I have to remember to fix them up a bit. Then we eventually, painfully got the story from that goblin. Now maybe it’s just a coincidence – organized goblins and ogres taking hostages, and this “Sinruth” just happened to set up shop in Rivenroar’s old crypt. But I’m worried there’s something deeper, more sinister going on here. In any case, that’s when I made up my mind that we had to go… to find death, and maybe some answers.

We got to the crypt easily enough, and eventually figured out the bloody trick to get in. Then as we passed through the crypt I had a flashback, to a time before the war. I saw again the brutality, the screams, the endless inter-office memoranda signed in suspicious brown-red ink. Then it was gone…

In any case, once we got into the lower levels there was no time for thinking. Right away we had to fight our way through. As usual I don’t remember much of the fighting, just flashes. After the first fight ended, well… like my card shark buddy once said, “They had some aces, but my hand had the hearts.” Then the dwarf got to demonstrate his… grace. I can’t believe he fell – twice! I should really show him some tricks to break his fall – maybe then it won’t hurt as much. Then we fought through one more room, and the wizard got to show off a bit. All these battles have given me some ideas, for ducking and dodging during a fight – if I can get in a good position, then my daggers will drink deep.

Should I tell my new companions my suspicions, my fears, my nightmares? I can’t do this on my own – no, no, they wouldn’t believe me, it’s too much. I have no proof, it’s all conjecture. But if I’m right… well, maybe we’ll get some answers in this bloody crypt. Hopefully we’ll be in time to stage a rescue. Or, if my worst fears are realized… then we’ll have to contend with… what used to be… the hostages.

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